Chelsea cool interest in Ousmane Dembele after Barcelona flops demands

Chelsea have reportedly 'cooled' their interest in Ousmane Dembele – after baulking at the Barcelona flop's huge wage demands.

Dembele is set to become a free agent at the end of this month after running his deal down at the Nou Camp. Barcelona are still keen on keeping the French winger, but Dembele has snubbed attempts from the Spanish giants to tie him down to a new deal.

The 25-year-old has attracted interest from some top European clubs in the wake of his ongoing contract wrangle with Barcelona, including Chelsea and PSG. However, Dembele's hopes of landing a bumper, mega-money deal abroad this summer could fail to materialise, according to a new report from Sport, via Sport Witness.

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The report outlines that Chelsea and PSG have both cooled their interest in landing the ex-Borussia Dortmund star, with the Blues said to be 'surprised by Dembele's demands'. It's also claimed that Dembele would expect a starring role if he does make the switch to the Premier League; a stance that Chelsea 'didn't like'.

With the club also wary of Dembele's chequered injury history, Thomas Tuchel and the Blues have seemingly switched their focus to striking a deal for Raheem Sterling – leaving Dembele in limbo. But with Barcelona's latest contract offer still on the table, Dembele could still perform a surprise U-turn and stay in Spain.

Tuchel – who worked with Dembele at Dortmund – has previously hinted he'd be keen to work with the attacker again, but the Blues boss now looks more likely to link up with Sterling. It is believed that the 27-year-old England star could be prised away from the Etihad for the right price this summer.

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Even though Sterling clocked up 13 goals and six assists to help Manchester City to their fourth Premier League title in five years, the former Liverpool man has still had spells out of Pep Guardiola's team. And with just 12 months remaining on his current deal, Sterling is open-minded over his future.

Chelsea are desperate to boost their firepower after their attacking stars failed to live up to expectations last season. Tuchel will also be looking to replace club-record flop Romelu Lukaku, who is on the verge of joining Inter Milan on a season-long loan – less than a year after he left Milan to join the Blues in a whopping £97.5million deal.

The Belgian striker struggled to shine during his second spell at Stamford Bridge, although he did still outscore the Blues other attacking players by netting 15 goals in all competitions.


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